No outfielder since Jeff Francoeur in 2007 has started every game in a season, yet Hunter Pence is on pace to do that this season for the Giants, CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly reports.
If he does so, he’ll be the first Giant to start every game in a season since shortstop Alvin Dark in 1954.
Pence has been in right field for all 143 Giants games this season and hit .287/.339/.468 with 19 homers, 73 RBI and 21 steals. Barring something unexpected, this will be his sixth straight season of at least 154 games played. He’s been on the DL just once as a major leaguer, that coming as a rookie in 2007 when he suffered a fracture in his wrist while sliding into second base.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.